What Does a Realistic Cleaning Schedule for Working Moms Look Like?

Are you a busy working mom struggling to keep your house clean and organized? You’re not alone. Finding the right cleaning schedule that works for you can be a game-changer in managing your home and maintaining your sanity. We started reviewing articles, charts, and recommendations from bloggers and working moms who claim to be organization specialists and know about keeping a tidy house.

Researching This Left Us Depressed

Exhausted mom with messy house.
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And you know what happened? We read their recommendations, and we started feeling bad about ourselves and our homes. Sure, they offered an organized approach to cleaning, but the amount of cleaning suggested looked like a full-time job and just stressed us out.

Sweep the floors, wipe down all appliances, and take out the garbage every day? Wiping down all the baseboards, and cleaning out the refrigerator every single week? Maybe some of you do this, and if you do we want to hear from you, but we are betting that a lot of you, like us, do not.

Tell Us HOW to Do All The Things

woman with hands in prayer position. Woman asking please. Begging.
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We started this research because we were looking for tips on how to become better organized and be able to clean our house more efficiently, but beyond being told what we should be doing, how we were supposed to find the time to do it was not so clear cut.

How Exactly Does One Clean House?

Woman asking how? Asking why? Wondering.
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After more research and talking to people who are effective at cleaning their houses, we have come up with some helpful ideas.


Graphic showing flexible schedule.
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Recognize that every working mom has unique circumstances and priorities. Tailor your cleaning schedule to fit your specific needs and constraints. In other words, someone who works 9 to 5, Monday through Friday will have to come up with a different schedule than someone who works 2 part time jobs that span 6 days a week with less regular hours.

Be Realistic

Graphic depicting realistic expectations.
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Avoid over-scheduling your day. Be mindful of how much time you realistically have for cleaning tasks and allow yourself some leeway.

Prioritizing Your Tasks

Dog with dirty carpet.
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One reason we didn’t like the catch-all lists that we came across was that they were too general. If you live in a dry dusty environment, you might have to dust surfaces more often. If you take off your shoes before you walk into the house, you will have less vacuuming needs than a household that doesn’t.

And if you have pets, there might be an entirely separate set of cleaning needs.

Let’s Look at Language

Boy vacuuming.
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We came across a TikTok video and cannot find it now! If this sounds familiar to anyone, let us know. A Mom was talking about adjusting language. She suggested not asking the kids or significant others to “help” around the house. Using the “help” word supports the notion that it is mom’s “job” in the first place, and other household members are just “helping”.

Nope! This house is everyone’s house. You all have responsibilities. So, if the kids are old enough, they should have regular tasks. And the significant others, if they are present, should be part of the solution as well – not as helpers, but as primary task managers.

Set Your Schedule

Time management.
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Time blocking is a powerful tool for busy moms. Allocate specific time slots for various tasks to ensure you stay on track and complete your cleaning efficiently. You can find free time blocking templates, including apps, which will help create a schedule that aligns with your daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning needs, ensuring you stay organized and productive.

Or some of us like a notebook, with handwritten tasks that can be crossed off. Do what works for you.

Help Yourself Stay on Track

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Each day, assess your to-do list and prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. As you check off completed tasks, you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment that motivates you to continue tackling your list items.

Establishing Morning and Evening Routines

little girl making bed.
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Many busy and efficient moms have told us that developing a morning and evening routine that suits your lifestyle is very helpful. It should leave you feeling accomplished, but not overwhelmed. This applies to your cleaning routine as well. Create a manageable cleaning routine that complements your daily schedule.

Checking off what is “done” is an empowering feeling.

Two Key Pieces of Advice

woman cleaning refrigerator.
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Before you dive in and make your schedule, we have two pieces of advice. 1) Be conservative and 2) choose a focus.

Being conservative with your scheduling gives you have a greater chance of success, which will empower you. You can always add more “to-dos” later.

And choose a focus. If your refrigerator always seems to need attention, then make that a priority. 

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Cleaning Schedules

Young Asian woman in ponytails, stressed out about housework and laundry.
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This is where we freaked out. Looking at all those suggested daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning schedules had us feeling woefully inadequate, and gave us nothing but agita. We need actionable suggestions.

As we have said before, this will be unique to each of us (not all of us need made beds), but here are the tasks to schedule, just in case you need to be reminded (that was a lame joke).

Set Time Frames

smartphone showing 15 minute timer.
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We have found that if we sit around and think of all the things we have to do, that we never get to it, because the time it will take seems enormous. But, if you break it down, it can become manageable.

You might be happily surprised at what you can get done in 15 minutes. Just set aside that time – no phones or other distraction – and see what you can get done. That mountain of laundry might just disappear.

Potential Daily Tasks

woman loading dishwasher.
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“Potential” daily tasks. You do them when you see fit.

  • Make beds
  • Put clothes away – when you come home, dirty clothes get into a hamper; clean clothes get hung or folded and put away.
  • Load the dishwasher or hand wash dishes from that day
  • Tidying (pick up clutter)

Possible Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Woman in jeans mopping.
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A weekly cleaning schedule offers a structured approach to managing your cleaning tasks. It reduces overwhelm by breaking down chores room by room. 

  • Dusting 
  • Vacuuming
  • Laundry
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Cleaning the inside of appliances
  • Grocery shopping
  • Taking out garbage

Monthly Cleaning Schedule

Young child washing windows.
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Certain cleaning tasks, like washing windows and cleaning baseboards, don’t require weekly attention but are crucial for maintaining a clean home. 

  • Washing windows
  • Cleaning windowsills and door trims
  • Vacuuming couch cushions
  • Scrubbing shower doors
  • Cleaning the entryway
  • Cleaning the refrigerator – out with the old stuff
  • Cleaning out the freezer
  • Grout scrubbing

Final Note on Tools

woman vacuuming.
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The right mop, vacuum, sponges, wipes, and cleaning solutions can make a huge difference.

You need the right tools to get the job done. If you do not have a toilet brush, or yours has seen better days, cleaning the toilet is never going to be easy, you won’t get good results – and you will be less likely to do it. Ditto with a vacuum. If yours is always leaving things behind, it is time for a new one. (And of course, make sure you are changing bags and filters as needed).

There is efficacy to consider – after all, if you want a disinfectant, it should do that job. But there are other factors, such as smell. Smell is a huge part of a home feeling clean. Some of us like the smell of bleach, while for others it is not tolerable.

There are so many products out there; take the time to find what works for you – and even motivates you. 

Seasonal Cleaning

outdoor furniture under cover.
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Seasonal cleaning tasks, such as spring cleaning or preparing for summer, can be addressed with a few key tips.

Set aside larger chunks of time for any of the following:

  • Retrieving outdoor furniture from storage.
  • Tuning up lawn mowerGetting snow blower ready for the season.
  • Making sure your grill is ready for warmer months.
  • Consider hiring a home cleaning service for extra help.

The Takeaway

Red head mom and daughter cleaning house.
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Remember, your home doesn’t have to be perfect all the time. This guide is designed to provide you with tips and strategies to regain control over your household chores and reduce stress. As a working mom, you have a lot on your plate, but with a well-crafted cleaning schedule, you can achieve a cleaner, more organized home that allows you to focus on what truly matters. 

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Here are some more articles you might be interested in that cover beauty and fashion:

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  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

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